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Utah football player’s accused killer now linked to 2020 unsolved murder, police say

Source: Salt Lake County; University of Utah

Oct. 5 2021, Published 1:24 p.m. ET

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A Utah man arrested on suspicion of murdering a college student has been linked to a second deadly shooting investigation, officials said.

On Sept. 26, Buk Mawut Buk, 22, was at a house party in Salt Lake City when he allegedly fired a gun multiple times at Aaron Lowe, a 21-year-old sophomore defensive back at the University of Utah, and Lowe’s girlfriend, 20.

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When the pair collapsed, Buk is accused of approaching the couple and firing five or six shots in order to “finish them off,” KSL-TV reported, citing a jail booking affidavit.

Lowe passed away from his injuries and his girlfriend, who police have not named, remains hospitalized in critical condition following “extensive” emergency surgery, police said.

On Oct. 3, Buk was taken into custody and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of discharge of a firearm, aggravated murder and attempted murder in connection to the shooting.

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“I'm just glad they got him,” Lowe’s mother, Donna Lowe-Stern, told KSL-TV after Buk’s arrest. “I know I can't get my baby back, but I'll get justice.”


According to the station, court documents show Buk has an extensive criminal history, including a case that allegedly now may link him to a second murder in Salt Lake City almost a year ago.

On Oct. 18, 2020, Manuel Felipe Gonzalez-Cortez, 21, was outside a car wash when he was fatally shot, and investigators recovered shell casings at the scene.

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The case remains unsolved, and, according to police, Buk is not currently a suspect in the murder.

On Nov. 1, two weeks after Gonzalez-Cortez’s death, Buk and four other individuals allegedly fled police in a stolen car before ditching the vehicle and attempting to escape on foot. Salt Lake police caught Buk and the others and placed them under arrest.

According to charging documents, officers allegedly discovered on the floorboard of the car a gun, stolen in Wyoming, and ammunition in Buk’s pocket. Buk served 115 days in jail after he pleaded guilty to a failing to stop at the command of law enforcement charge.

KSL-TV confirmed with authorities that ballistics test later connected the weapon in the car to bullets found at Cortez’s car wash murder.

Unified Police Sgt. Melody Cutler declined on Oct. 4 to answer why Buk allegedly had possession of the gun connected to the car wash shooting or if any of the people in the vehicle with him are now persons of interest in the Gonzalez-Cortez case, the station reported.


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